By Jennifer Rios
La Jolla is known for many things, beautiful beaches, fancy cars, and great hotels. But, there is one business that has become part of the community that also makes La Jolla stand out from the rest of San Diego, Yidddishland! Yiddishland of La Jolla is a new addition to the community and is the only non-profit in San Diego that promotes the Yiddish language and culture. I had the pleasure of talking to the founder of Yiddishland, Jana Mazurkiewicz Meisarosh to learn more about this amazing organization!
Yiddishland opened in La Jolla this November. Yiddish is one of the three major literary languages of Jewish history and Yiddishland’s mission is to expand awareness of the beauty and joy of Yiddishkeit and preserve and advance the Yiddish language and culture within the US and worldwide. Their services include hosting cultural events, Yiddish translation services, Yiddish, Hebrew, or Polish classes, and art exhibitions and sales. They have an amazing team of people that are willing to share their knowledge of the Yiddish language with everyone and anyone who stops by wanting to learn more about the culture. Jana herself, who is originally from Poland, is a PhD candidate that is working on her dissertation on Yiddish Theater in Communist Warsaw. She is also an actor, director, playwright and producer of Yiddish theater. Jana is sharing all her knowledge about the Yiddish language and culture with La Jolla through the events and classes offered at Yiddishland!
What future events is Yiddishland planning? They plan on celebrating Hanukkah during the First Friday Art Walk on 3 December from 4-7pm. They will host a Hanukkah candle lighting as well as have special Hanukkah-themed snacks, music and art! So, if you want to participate in the celebration or are just curious and want to learn a little more while you explore the Art Walk stop by Yiddishland at 1128 Wall Street to check out their booth!
And if you decide you want to try and learn a new language, Yiddishland is beginning new Yiddish, Polish and Hebrew classes in January. They are also holding Yiddish classes via Zoom starting on 6 December. If you are interested in any of these programs you can visit their website at yiddishlandcalifornia.org to register!
A new addition to the La Jolla community, Yiddishland collaborates with local artists and academics to continue to grow and become part of the community. So, if you are interested in learning something new or want to be a part of this organization or help them grow, stop by their location on Wall Street and talk with any of the volunteers there to learn more about how you can! Happy Hanukkah and we hope to see you in the Village this Friday for the Art Walk!